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July 27, 2006


Dru Richman

You said - 'Locked in with Apple format (AAC)'

Argh!! Doesn't anybody do research before they run off at the word processor? -

"AAC was developed by the MPEG group that includes Dolby, Fraunhofer (FhG), AT&T, Sony and Nokia—companies that have also been involved in the development of audio codecs such as MP3 and AC3 (also known as Dolby Digital)..."

"...For example, all of the music sold in the iTunes Music Store uses AAC, for playback on desktop or iPod. AAC has also been adopted by the major standards organizations including the ISO MPEG (MPEG-4), 3GPP and 3GPP2, DVB, as well as XM satellite radio. As a result of its support for this technology, the audio you create with QuickTime is interoperable with a wide range of devices and media players."

More here - http://www.apple.com/quicktime/technologies/aac/


Some people buy CDs, rip them to MP3, and then sell them on the used CD market. This is a subtle form of piracy known as "unfair use".

Maybe you are missing the fact that you are helping this form of piracy. Then again, maybe not.

Mike Scandling

I do both. iTunes for old msic that's hard to find, and usually poorly recorded so 128 kbits don't make it sound much worse. The DRM doesn't get in my way since I only play them on my computer and my iPod. I use CDs for everything else, ripped at 192 kbits AAC for the iPod. 192 sounds noticeably better than 128 -- but a CD sounds better than 192, so I keep the CDs and play them at home.


I too like iTunes for its ease of use and the pricing isn't bad. But like you I pretty much only buy used CD's for the same reasons you list.

And I do not sell them back as the other poster suggested so I am not unfairly using them... :-P


CDs are still better. iTunes going in the right direction and it's is a solid piece of software.

Until there's a free online digital locker that comes with the purchase of iTunes music in case my hard drive dies, CDs are the best backup.

Bit rate for iTunes songs is a lot lower.

On the plus side for iTunes - you can cherry pick the "best" songs off a CD without having to spend the $4 or $5 bucks for a used CD.

Jon Strande

Dru, thanks for the information, which I didn't have. Hmmm... research? Should I have to research something to find out if I can play it everywhere? I know I can play a CD everywhere and I rarely, if ever, have seen products mention their ability to play AAC files. As iPod owner for nearly 2 years, I've looked. Believe me. My alpine car stereo doesn't play them. My home stereo doesn't play them. My shelf system in my office doesn't play them. My iPod, however, does. Why should I purchase music that I can't play everywhere? So it sounds like the format is going to be available to more and more products... great (when I upgrade other products)! The question really becomes where I want my music available today. Please don't take my reply as anything but appreciative - you've given me information that I didn't have and I thank you for it.

Myles, I'm not missing that at all. In fact, I'd bet that probably half of the used CD's I've purchased came from people who've ripped and sold. Oh well. Should I be made to suffer because the music industry hasn't adapted? They are locked into a model that they can't seem to break free from. Unfair use though? I don't think that Amazon, eBay, and other sites would facilitate the transactions if it violated any laws, do you?

Something that I really should clarify here is that most of the music that I buy is older. I rarely buy new releases and when I do, it is typically at the retail level. I bought the latest CD from the The Stills the day it came out at Best Buy. I bought the latest release from The Used the day it came out at Borders. No, the stuff I buy used is usually pretty old and typically the band isn't around anymore or the CD itself is out of print. I'm not buying stuff from the top 40 charts.

I would feel bad that money isn't going to an artist that I like, but after learning more about the music industry I understand that royalties are sometimes kept from artists after they've been dropped from a label, so the only people who I'd be giving money to are the record execs. The deals that bands sign are so lopsided that most don't make much money until they've reached a certain level - the record companies recoup their cost before sharing any with the artist. I do support artists I like by going to concerts, evangelizing, etc.

So, how about this: the new Boy Kill Boy record came out. It's $6.99 at Best Buy (full packaging, retail level purchase), why is it still $9.99 at iTunes for just the digital version of the tracks that I can only play at my desk or on my iPod? Is that really fair?

I think the point where you and I agree - that neither of us articulated - is, if enough people start buying through the used market, artists would get sales and then they'll fade away and we, the consumers, lose.

As I mentioned earlier, and should have stated at the outset of my post, I'm not buying used copies of new artists. Some of the stuff I've purchased used includes; Ednaswap, Mission UK, and LA Guns. Those bands aren't really around anymore... the Ednaswap is out of print, as is the second Candlebox release, Lucy. So, what other choice do I have than buying used????

Mike, Yeah, nothing beats the clarity of CD at home.

Kevin, yep, same page indeed. I'm not selling them back either. That's why my CD collection has mushroomed to over 500 - of which maybe 20 are used. By anyones measure, the record companies would call me a loyal customer.

Vincent, agreed. iTunes is getting better.

Thank you to all for your comments.


Purchasing, ripping, and re-selling used CD's is not "unfair use". It is not piracy, subtle or otherwise.


One problem with used CD's (or with any CD) is that smudge, scratches on it, dirty laser lenses etc will make the fault correction circuits in the CD player work overtime, reducing sound quality.

The iTMS files are ripped directly from the record companies' sources, with no fault correction needed. OK, 128 kb/s is a bit too slow, bit if Apple could DRM in lossless format, or at least 256 kb/s, I certainly would buy (which I don't today).

Off-topic on bitrates: a German mag had a contest who could hear the difference between original CD, 128 kb/s MP3 and 256 kb/s MP3. Almost everybody could tell the 128 kb/s apart from the rest, but the only one who could tell 256 kb/s apart with certainty had a hearing disorder, not being able to hear frequencies above some 5 - 6 kHz. The psychoacoustic compression requires "normal" hearing abilities ;-)

Jon Strande


Yeah, that is a risk with a physcial product of a CD, and the thing that worries me whenever I buy used - will it be scratched? I treat my CD's very carefully.

As for the bitrate, I'm with you. 192 is a compromise. I think 128 is too low and 256 would both take up too much space and really drain the battery on my iPod, which caches music to avoid disc reads. At 128 it can cache more songs reducing the need to read the hard drive which prolongs battery life.

Also, I doubt that I cold tell the difference between 192 and 256... DOH! ;-)

Again, thank you to all for your great comments!!



You said - Because I have an iPod, I'm limited to which digital music stores I can use.

What about eMusic?

Jon Strande

eMusic, yeah, I've actually used that service and was very impressed with the indie selection. The reason I discontinued my subscription is that I found that I wasn't finding stuff I liked.

What I have been using recently is http://www.yourmusic.com>yourmusic.com all CD's $5.99 and free shipping. Of course this is just another incarnation of the 12 for a $0.01 and then you have to buy so many over the next year or whatever... this one is different though, you just drop and bunch of CD's in your queue and each month they send you the next one from your list. The only downside to this service is that the selection is limited to just the labels that they carry, so it isn't every artist. I still like it though and have more than a years worth of discs in my queue.


I can tell you I have *NEVER* purchased a single song from iTMS. I'm on my 5th iPod, have an extensive CD library and continue to buy CD's, and love Apple. But there's no way I'd pay $10-12 for a typical 10-12 song set of music that is bound by a chain to a computer (requires iTMS password) that is inferior in quality (compressed) that I don't own (and can't sell). I can buy a used CD for $7-8 that has none of these restrictions and has the highest quality. The computer industry is bound to comply with some sort of DRM due to the greedy record companies. Until this somehow changes one day, I will *ALWAYS* buy CD's.


Russ, yeah, until they gain a better understanding of their customers - the people buying their products (us) - I highly doubt that I'll be buying much digital music.

Subtler Pirate

Dru sounds like an RIAA shill. Subtle piracy my ass. You own it, you use it as you see fit.

I use iTunes to play my vinyl which I record to my Mac. I don't buy it on CD or iTunes due to the poor quality of the transfers of the limited choices I have. And I don't want a "remixed" (read changed) version made for digital. So does that make me a subtler pirate?


Subtler, I think you meant Myles - Dru was ripping my lack of research of AAC, Myles was the one suggesting that this is a subtle form of piracy... but yeah, the point is the same. You bought it, you own it, use it as you want. If you don't want it anymore, sell it. If you buy them used and the person who owned it before you kept a copy for themselves, well, they are breaking the law, not you or me - that is unfair use (piracy) and it doesn't sound like either of us (or most of the rest of the commenters) are doing this, so we're good.

So you record your vinyl to your MAC? How cool is that! I have a nice Sony CD burner component that is hooked up to my Stereo and I've been going back and digitizing my analog content - slow process, but I'm enjoying some stuff that I haven't heard in years without having to pay for it twice!

frank Koskotas

what do i need to burn vinyl to a mac

frank Koskotas

is there a way to change the bitrate of burning a cd to mp3 in itunes? or some other app?



I want to buy your used VCD's of all kinds of movies, Musics and Comedy for resale here in Nigeria. I want to know your bundle sales minimum order.
Looking forward to your reply.


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